How long can post concussion headaches last?

When you hear the word ‘concussion,’ what’s the first thing that comes to mind? A free pass to skip work or school and lay down in a dark room all day? Well, maybe for some lucky folks out there. But for others – especially those who have suffered a concussion – this experience can be an absolute nightmare.

One of the most common symptoms following a concussion is post-concussion headache. Keep reading to learn more about how long post-concussion headaches can last and ways you can manage these pesky pains.

What Is Post-Concussion Headache?

Post-concussion headache (PCH) is defined as persistent pain within seven days after suffering a concussion injury. This type of headache may feel like intense pressure, throbbing or dull pain on one or both sides of your head, neck tightness, and sensitivity to light or sound (don’t even think about blasting Taylor Swift right now).

It’s important to note that while PCH usually occurs soon after your injury (in the days following), it can also begin weeks later if it goes undiagnosed early on (just add this scenario on top of everything else that could go wrong!).

Factors That Influence The Length Of Post-Concussion Headache

While everyone experiences concussions in their own unique way, several factors play into how long post-concussive headaches last:

Severity Of Your Concussion

A severe blow to the head increases your chances of developing worse symptoms such as longer lasting PCHs than someone with only mild concussion symptoms.

Age & Gender

According to research conducted by University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center women are more likely than men aged between 18-44 years old who suffer from migraines prior getting injured more susceptible among individuals who experiences prolonged duration of PCHs compared with other categories

Immediate Treatment

If you get proper medical attention the moment after suffering a concussion, your chances of experiencing long-term symptoms decrease considerably.

Duration of Symptoms Post-Concussion

The longer you experience concussion symptoms such as headache or fatigue in the initial days following your injury, the more likely it is that PCHs will continue well beyond recovery time.

How Long Can Post-Concussion Headaches Last?

As with anything related to health and injuries, there’s no one answer that suits everyone across the board. But here are some general timelines according to research:

  • 90% of people recover from post-concussion headaches within three months
  • The other 10% may experience post-concussion headaches for over a year (I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not be part of this exclusive club).

Again these figures vary depending on several individual factors like age/sex/injury severity/duration since injury onset/Underlying conditions etc., so keeping track of any changes using symptom diaries should always be an essential measure towards optimal rehabilitation

It’s worth noting too; just because other people had shorter-duration post-concussive headaches doesn’t mean yours will also follow suit. Everybody recovers at their own pace (this unfortunately fact applies to everything including brain functions – didn’t anyone tell you life was unfair?).

Management Of Post Concussive Headache

Here are some common management techniques recommended by doctors if your PCHs last longer than expected:

Rest & Relax

Rest both physically and mentally as much as possible to aid better recovery for prolonged period
Increase sleep duration from normal levels in line with revised guidance provided by healthcare professionals

Medications As Prescribed By Healthcare Provider

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as naproxen or ibuprofen can relieve swelling causing pressure build up._

Triptans(Migraine specific medication)_ should only be administered to individuals diagnosed with migraines history since the medication can lead to rebound effects and other medical complications.

Antidepressants, while not traditionally used for headaches, may benefit in some cases where underlying issues include nerve damage or muscle tension are present.s
– It’s important to always take medications as advised by a healthcare provider
– Inform your doctor of any alternative approaches or complementary treatments such as acupuncture that you might intend pursuing

Don’t Overdo Physical Activity

It’s fundamental during an injury-free period but even more necessary after concussion relieves prolonged PCHs. Activities like running/ jumping increase blood flow/peripheral sensitivity which your brain needs time off (Hold on we haven’t tested if ‘Netflix & Chill’ triggers persistent headaches).

Blood Sugar Regulation

Limiting intake of sugary foods/drinks and consuming often (at least three meals/day) helps regulate our body sugar/glucose levels. Blood Glucose Amplitude Modulation has been linked/recommended found effective in relieving both acute/Persistent post-concussion symptoms(epilepsy+knee pain) and certain psychiatric disorders (who knew scientific terminology could make it seem so simple?)

When Is It Time To See Your Doctor Regarding Post-Concussion Headache?

If you’re concerned about how long your PCH is lasting or experience additional symptoms such as nausea/dizziness signifying secondary infection –look out– this means it’s likely time to speak with a healthcare professional (life motto: If something doesn’t feel right…it probably isn’t!). Here are some reasons when you know seeking medical attention is necessary:

  • You have severe headache pains that medicine seems unable to subside.
  • Nausea accompanied by puking sensations
  • Seizure/Fainting spells starting unaccounted up from previous experiences
  • Persistent drowsiness continuously beyond the recommended rest time given by medical professionals.


While post-concussion headache is a common occurrence following injury, it can be incredibly frustrating trying to determine when it will subside. Several unique personal factors contribute towards its length and severity; rest/relaxation, medication adherence/exercise avoidance if needed, careful blood sugar monitoring are critical measures to incorporate into individual lifestyles.
Keeping track of progressing symptoms via adequately maintained diaries/additional changes noticed etc., is an excellent measure guaranteeing optimal rehabilitation.

Provided severe pains or additional concerning symptoms arise always consult healthcare providers for assistance as soon as possible because concussions might not only inhibit our daily life motions but could lead up triggering graver conditions (AHA Moment!)

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